Europe is a top winter holiday destination, with spectacular Christmas markets across the continent attracting millions of visitors each year. And there’s no better way to travel between markets, through romantic snowy landscapes, than by train. Take advantage of this season’s Eurail Off Peak Promotion and save up to 20% off the regular price of Eurail Global and Eurail Select Passes purchased by December 31, 2013. Here are just a few of the Top European Christmas Markets you can get to with Eurail Pass:
Winter Wonders - Brussels, Belgium
Voted most original market by British Tour Operators, Brussels’ Plaisirs d’hiver (Winter Wonders) Christmas market extends nearly two kilometers from the glorious Grand Place to Place Ste-Catherine. Over 18,000 lights, a huge skating rink, ferris wheel, over 240 shops and kiosks, plus innovative attractions like the Slalom, Iceberg and Ice Monster make for joyous, all-ages fun. Dates: November 29 to January 5.
Fira de Santa Llúcia – Barcelona, Spain
Since 1786, Barcelona’s main Christmas market has been the place to find exquisite Catalan Nativity scenes and everything needed to create one of your own. Here you’ll also find take-home versions of the traditional Cago Tio, or caganer, a smiling log that holds hidden presents. Children hit the Cago Tio with a stick to release the gifts. Dates: November 30 – December 23.
Cathedral Christmas Market – Cologne, Germany
Germany is world-famous for its Christmas markets. One of the best is held at the foot of Cologne’s famous Gothic cathedral, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Picturesque huts sell everything from handblown glass ornaments, poured pewter items,mistletoe, mulled wine, roast chestnuts and fragrant gingerbread. Dates: November 25 – December 23.
Christkindelsmärik - Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg lays claim to the oldest Christmas market in Europe, with the very first Christmas market held near its Gothic cathedral in 1570. Located in the province of Alsace, near Germany’s border, Strasbourg’s Christmas market has an authentic, traditional flavor. Over 300 stalls, dazzling light displays, magnificent Christmas tree and musical events have earned Strasbourg the title of Christmas Capital. Dates: November 29 to December 31.
The Eurail Off Peak Promotion offers up to 20% off the regular price of Eurail Global and Eurail Select Passes purchased before December 31, 2013, for travel until March 31, 2014. For more information, including where to buy Eurail Pass, see Eurail Group.